The Essential Phone

20 August 2017

The Verge:

The Essential Phone has the most appealing hardware design of any phone I’ve used in at least a year. Everybody’s taste is different and so this is mostly my own personal aesthetic judgement, but it’s a strong one. I simply like holding and using this phone, and I love that it is unapologetically rectangular. The Essential Phone weighs about as much as an iPhone 7 Plus, but, as I said, it’s much smaller. That makes it feel substantial, actually dense.

If iOS disappeared today, this is the Android phone I’d get. No frills, no weird gimmicks and no preinstalled crapware. It even upstages Apple on minimalism; the chassis has no logos at all.

On the bezel scale, the Essential phone gets a pretty good score. There is a top-edge notch for the front camera — it’s smaller than the upcoming OLED iPhone’s notch because it’s just a cutout for the pinhole camera whereas Apple is incorporating the earpiece and depth-sensing Infrared cameras in that area.

The Essential’s screen-to-bezel ratio is let down on the bottom edge. It has a noticeable chin. The appeal of the iPhone 8 is that its only front-face concession will be the notch. What amazes me is that Google’s imminent Android flagship, the second-generation Pixel, has a huge forehead and chin. They have missed the boat, big time.